I am a Ph.D. Candidate and Connaught Scholar in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. 

I do research in philosophy of communication, specifically that which is high-context, diplomatic, plausibly deniable, strategic, indirect, subtle, nonverbal, and nonconventional.  This includes propaganda, political dogwhistling, implicature, insinuation, connotation, euphemism, inside jokes, hinting, prosody, register, genre, and modality. I study how a general awareness of social norms is required to perform and interpret these kinds of utterances.

My dissertation argues that humans communicate in a way that hasn't been fully recognized: through ostensive deviations from convention. 

In addition to philosophy I have a passion for issues surrounding mental health and disability. During the pandemic I trained as a peer counsellor and helped found our department's inaugural Mental Health & Disability Caucus, receiving a Graduate Student Service Award for my work in this role. 

Before attending the University of Toronto I received a B.A. in Philosophy with Honors and a minor in Physics from the University of Tennessee.

Contact me at kristen.beard@mail.utoronto.ca